new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Sta. Elena | by Vamos Car Rental Costa Rica
Back to photostream

Sta. Elena

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

 

One of the Highlights from Costa Rica is here, in Santa Elena next to Monteverde, where you find the biggest and most important cloudforest's area from the country.

 

A cloud forest is a high-elevation forest characterized by a persistent, canopy-level cloud cover. These clouds provide the forest with a continual supply of moisture, which supports the fantastic array of plants that live here.

 

Warm winds from the Atlantic Ocean sweep over the Continental Divide, cooling and condensing to form clouds as they rise. By the time they reach Santa Elena, the clouds are thick and filled with moisture. The forest is thus bathed in a constant supply of mist, which, over the course of a year, amounts to nearly twelve feet of rain.

 

Not surprisingly, the Monteverde cloud forest is abundant with vegetation. The competition for growing space is so intense that the trunks, branches and even roots of trees are almost entirely covered with other plants – epiphytes, lichens, liverworts, bryophytes, mosses and more. Strong winds and water-laden limbs often cause branches to break and fall to the ground. This not only creates light gaps in the canopy, but also provides the forest floor with added nutrients.

 

Not to be outdone, the insects, reptiles, mammals and birds that live here can be found in fantastic numbers as well. Birds include the three-wattled bellbird, bare-necked umbrellabird, keel-billed toucan, long-tailed manakin, and resplendent quetzal. White-faced and howler monkeys reside here, as do jaguars, agouti, and the three-toed sloth.

 

The community of Santa Elena borders the Monteverde Conservation Area. Within this region, 310 hectares (765 acres) have been permanently leased by the Santa Elena community high school. The original vision was to use this land for agricultural research and education in Monteverde. However, the farming proved to be unsuccessful, and in 1989, the land was converted into a cloud forest reserve. Together with Youth Challenge International, a Canadian based non-profit organization, the community established an ecotourism reserve, which officially opened on March 1, 1992.

 

The reserve was created out of the community's desire to both preserve the cloud forest and use tourism as a means to benefit community development. Entrance fees go to protecting and managing the reserve, as well as providing higher quality education for the schools of Monteverde.

 

The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde is one of the first community administered reserves in the country (in the sense that it is not a national park, but under the protection of the Arenal Conservation Area). It is an excellent example of what people can do to preserve – and learn from – the environment they live in.

 

For more information on driving in Costa Rica, please visit Vamos Rent-A-Car. Let us provide you with your next rental quote!

 

Vamos Rent-A-Car - San Jose Area Office

Rio Segundo, 3

Boulevard Aeropuerto

Alajuela, Costa Rica 20109

Tel : + 506-4000-0557

 

Vamos Rent-A-Car - Liberia Area Office

Hwy 21

Liberia, Costa Rica 50101

Tel : + 506-4001-2331

 

Official YouTube Channel

Official Facebook Page

Official Twitter Account

1,225 views
1 fave
0 comments
Taken on November 30, 2011